The cold weather didn’t stop Indigenous people and their allies from coming to the Public Gardens in downtown Halifax to attend the Red Dresses in K’jipuktuk event on Saturday afternoon. Two plainclothes cops also showed up. Elizabeth Goodridge tells the story.
Last Friday Judy Haiven joined the march and tribute to Tanya Brooks, the Mi’kmaq woman who was murdered 10 yeasr ago in Halifax. “Given recent reluctance by the Halifax police to end street checks and apologise for their racism, race likely played a role in their unforgivably slow investigation,” Haiven writes.
Delilah Saunders, chair of the Loretta Saunders Community Scholarship Fund, talks with Tammy Mudge, one of this year’s awardees: “Celebrate who you are and what you have to offer and give yourself more credit than you do now! Go time!”
When frequent NS Advocate contributor Delilah Saunders read a poem by Shannon Webb-Campbell that contained a graphic description of the murder of her sister Loretta it caused real hurt. ” I can’t bring myself to share the poem with my parents or family. I’m unsure if she consciously decided to not reach out to my family because she knew no family would agree to having their loved one written about in such gory detail, or if she is just that out of touch with the protocols that exist in our Indigenous communities.”
Delilah Saunders writes about the pain and emotional labour involved in speaking in public about her murdered sister Loretta and other missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. “My problem lies with the for-profit multi-billion-dollar industries/universities that penny pinch when a speaker provides expertise when their pricey textbooks fail to do so.”
Judy Haiven looks at the similarities between the Gerald Stanley and Raymond Cormier trials. “In each case, a white middle-aged man thinks nothing of ‘getting rid’ of his “problem” by committing a crime. Both victims were poor and Indigenous, from First Nations’ reserves. If an Indigenous person is murdered, it seems the benefit of the doubt goes to the white guy.”
Judy Haiven writes “The mainstream media in Canada tell us that each murder of an Indigenous person is unique, and each tragedy stands on its own. But we cannot look at these cases in isolation. There is a pattern here, which becomes more and more weighty and oppressive with each death. We, as white settlers, have to see the murders of Indigenous people in Canada the way Indigenous people see them —as genocidal.”
Judy Haiven on today’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women in Canada. “How far have we come in 28 years? Here are some facts.”
Delilah Saunders, sister of Loretta, talks to this year’s two recipients of the Loretta Saunders Community Scholarship Fund about the obstacles young indigenous women face in the pursuit of academic studies. “My goal is to reach for the sky and hope that the generation after me sees my life as a stepping stone. Then they’ll reach further for the stars.”
New NS Advocate reporter Rebecca Hussman attended the opening of the Walking With Our Sisters memorial at the Mount Saint Vincent Art Gallery. “They were lights, even if their life circumstances were such, and there’s disregard for these women. But in there, that’s taken away, and they’re together, and the light shines there.”